Press Release
March 5, 2007


BACOLOD CITY Reelectionist senator Edgardo J. Angara today called for strict enforcement of the senior citizens discount amid increasing complaints from the elderly that they no longer avail of the discounts, particularly in the purchase of medicines.

In a forum, Angara said there is a need to police establishments that fail to provide discounts on goods and services. He also proposed that the local government should be given the proper authority to enforce the Senior Citizens Law.

This problem is really a failure in the enforcement mechanism. Before, we thought that the national government, through the Bureau of Food and Drugs and the Department of Health, can enforce this law, which is impossible. So, what we ought to do is to give power to the local government to implement this, he said.

Angara also reiterated his call for the increase of the Senior Citizens Discount 34% to address the discrepancy of the elderly discount caused by the imposition of Value Added Tax (VAT) on the purchases of medicines and other goods and services.

Angara had earlier denounced some pharmacies imposition of a 12% VAT on the sale of medicines to senior citizens. He said imposing VAT prevents the elderly from fully enjoying the 20% discount. In effect, they are able to avail of an 8% discount only.

Senate Bill No. 2569 will address this discrepancy. From the existing 20% discount, Angara said, the discounted rate would now be 34% to balance the negative effect of VAT.

Under the existing law, senior citizens are entitled to a full 20% discount on the purchase of goods, services, medical and dental services, transport fare, funeral and burial services, among others.

Angara, main author of the Senior Citizens Law in 1992, already discussed with Department of Finance (DoF) Secretary Margarito Teves and Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Jose Bunag late last year, the implication of the increase in Senior Citizens Discount.

During our talks, they were able to see the real intent of the Senior Citizens Law. That is, to grant benefits and special privileges to the Filipino elderly. With the proposed 34% senior citizens discount, the negative effect of the 12 percent VAT will be compensated, Angara explained.

To date, there are about 6 million elderly Filipinos in the country.

The Forum on Senior Citizens was organized by the Federation of Senior Citizens Association of Bacolod City, the Bacolod City Gender and Development Council, and the Philippine Mental Health Association of Negros Occidental. Over a hundred officials from different local senior citizens group attended the forum.

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